Dane Eldridge – Help Me To Create A Rugby League Blockbuster Film

As the novelty of America’s favourite pastime reverbs around the Harbour City, we must take time to reflect on the more important facts we have uncovered from the game’s visit to town.

Undoubtedly, what follows was identified as the most stunning discovery. Did you know there have been over 100 movies made about baseball? It’s a fact, baby.

We can add this piece of undervalued intel to all of the things we only previously knew about the game we’d learnt from Seinfeld and The Simpsons.

Yep, besides making crappy sequels for flogged-horse franchises, Hollywood loves nothing more than filming a yarn about the grand old game between bat and 120+ balls.

Go on, just scratch below the outer surface, where Don Mattingley’s sideburns and Keith Hernandez lie, and you will see a glut of inspirational uplifters and pro-Americana that has kept some of the industry’s most untalented actors in the game.

Go even deeper by subjecting yourself to one of these 85-minute masterpieces and you will see the blueprint for Major League cinematics is fairly simplistic.

In fact, studies show that over 74 per cent of movies on this subject involve nothing more than a sexy southern belle as a love interest, Kevin Costner and a baseball analogy for life. People eat it up like overpriced waffle fries in a helmet.

It’s more of a Dude, Where’s my Car? than a Mulholland Drive approach to a story layout, and that means one thing.

It’s perfect for the NRL!

So why haven’t more people looked at rugby league in Australia through those wanky frames that directors make with their thumbs and index fingers?

Sure, there’s been some sterling attempts by Aussie filmmaking footyheads (two, to be exact) that have warmed our souls and concussed stuntmen across the country, and we will always give eternal kudos to the creators of The Final Winter and Footy Legends for having the spare cash and the cahones to put our game on the silver screen.

But the game has the potential to produce an abundance of more videotape outside of the sex and lies of a Canterbury off-season or the repeated replays of dubious downward pressure for an undecided video referee. Any sport that involves people of the calibre of John Elias and Craig Field is teeming with great angles!

For example, look at 2013. Why wasn’t an old favourite resurrected when two Costa Concordias went down without their captain in the same year?

It’s unfathomable that there wasn’t a depiction of Ricky Stuart’s abandoning of the blue and gold ship with Titanic 2: The Board’s Fault.

Then there was the debacle of Queensland’s bourbon-hosed Origin camp and the mysterious disappearance of their young centre. How to Lose a ‘Gai in 10 Days, anybody?

What a golden opportunity unfulfilled to finally expose the story of Dane’s evening of debauchery in Brisbane, and not to mention an excellent chance missed by Mal Meninga to add ‘aspiring screen artist’ on his resume, next to ‘puppet coach’ and ‘purveyor of rough pineapples’.

While this clanger was akin to missing a conversion from in front, I’m more flabbergasted that the idea to portray one of the potential successors to Steve Price was left on the cutting room floor when his contract was last up for review.

There’s Something about Mary McGregor would’ve had Peter Doust rushing to book his favourite chardy in Gold Class to review the subject’s coaching credentials, with the rest of us clamouring in cattle class to see how the cue-balled Dragons assistant would’ve gone negotiating the famous ‘hair gel’ scene.

But it’s not just the modern day that produces the storylines for Oscar-worthy cine. Why hasn’t someone like Martin Scorcese looked back in the history books to the Super League war for his next money-spinner?

Being a former hard-working winger himself, I find it breathtaking he hasn’t filled some spool with the yarn of his fellow speedster-turned-administrator’s role in the rugby league split with RibotCop.

And if Steven Spielberg is serious about creating something as gripping and provocative as Saving Private Ryan, he should look no further than the tasty showdown between Bill Harrigan and Gorden Tallis in the 2000 Origin series. When Harri’ met Talli’ could’ve taken the game in to the far reaches of the Americas and given ‘Hollywood’ Harrigan and whole new market to irritate.

Finally, I’ll eat the felt from a director’s chair if talk isn’t already underway for Meet the Crockers. The best thing about this rich vision is if Mick is unavailable due to other on-set commitments, the producers can just shift the set to Penrith training for Meet the Dockers.

Now that’s just smart film-making.

Anyway, enough of my lowbrow pun-pushing, I want to throw this open to the intelligentsia of the League Freak network.

You guys and gals know the scene, so let’s help out David Smith’s marketing department and the local film industry by adding some local beef to the Hollywood Walk of Fame that isn’t Russell Crowe.

What movie about rugby league would you like to see?

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